From the September 20 edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show:
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Fox News failed to air any of President Obama's speech on the economy, keeping in line with the network's history of refusing to cover Obama's remarks.
On September 20, President Obama delivered an address at the Liberty, Missouri Ford Motors plant. During the speech, he discussed topics ranging from the financial crisis, to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the need to raise the debt ceiling.
While both CNN and MSNBC provided significant live coverage of the speech - with 25 and 35 minutes of coverage, respectively -- Fox News did not air the remarks at all. Instead, America Live guest host Alisyn Camerota directed viewers to watch the speech online at FoxNews.com. While Camerota spoke, video of the president's remarks played onscreen, but audio was muted.
The network gave adequate live coverage to earlier remarks made by House Speaker John Boehner over efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, dedicating roughly two minutes of uninterrupted live coverage - almost the entirety of his remarks. CNN and MSNBC also aired Speaker Boehner's remarks, each dedicating around two minutes as well.
This is not the first time Fox News has failed to carry a president's speech on the economy. The network has repeatedly cut away from previous speeches, instead opting to cover other topics, such as the naming of the Royal baby.
Several media figures have reacted to the mass shooting in Washington, D.C.'s Navy Yard by downplaying the role access to firearms had in the killings, instead blaming video games and their purported effect on mental health. But studies have either debunked or failed to find a plausible link between playing violent video games and real world gun violence.
Much of the connection between shooter Aaron Alexis and video games appears to come from Mike Ritrovato, who says he knew Alexis. Ritrovato told The Los Angeles Times that "if [Alexis] had anything bad about him, it was that he was a 35-year-old man playing video games." Ritrovato also told ABC News that Alexis was often late to work "because he was staying up all night playing video games."
MSNBC host Chuck Todd misleadingly claimed that the lesson for Democrats of the recall of two state senators who supported stronger gun laws is to stay away from the issue, claiming that Colorado Democrats had only been able to win recent statewide elections because they "neutralized the gun issue." But several Democrats have won elections in the state despite attacks from the National Rifle Association over their support for stronger gun laws.
On September 10, Colorado State Sens. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) were defeated in recall elections after being targeted over their support for expanded background checks on gun sales and a 15-round limitation on firearm magazine size. The elections featured an extremely low turnout, in part due to irregular voting rules.
Discussing the election results on Morning Joe, Todd concluded that Democrats will no longer want to be associated with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, its co-chair Michael Bloomberg, or the effort to strengthen gun laws. According to Todd, "the whole reason why [Colorado] is a state that was looking like it was just passing through swing state status on its way to being reliably Democratic is because Democrats starting in 2004 just neutralized the gun issue, and there was never any Democrat that ran statewide that was not seen as pro-gun."
Discussing the issue on his own program The Daily Rundown, Todd highlighted how President Obama twice won Colorado and other Democrats had repeatedly won statewide races in Colorado over the last decade because they had "neutralized the NRA," portraying the recalls as a foreboding course correction that happened because the legislature acted on guns.
But Todd's claim that Colorado Democrats had previously "neutralized the gun issue" and that "there was never any Democrat that ran statewide that was not seen as pro-gun" is false. While candidates frequently push back against false claims that they support gun confiscation and the like, and in some cases publicly associate themselves with Colorado's sportsmen and hunting culture, they nonetheless have been targeted by the NRA for their support for stronger gun laws.
In recent weeks, Private Chelsea Manning's court case has brought the reality of transgender military service - and transgender Americans - into focus as few other events have. Unfortunately, it has also reminded us of how ill-prepared our national media is when it comes to covering this important issue.
As a result, we have seen CNN refusing to reference Manning by her preferred name and gender. Meanwhile, Fox News mocked her - and in doing so all transgender individuals - with an insulting and derogatory choice of song to tease one of its segments on the issue. And an MSNBC guest made light of Manning's medical need for hormone therapy, mischaracterizing the treatment as simply an attempt to "coddle" her.
Today, Equality Matters is pleased to join more than 40 organizations calling on journalists and media outlets to cover all transgender people with the dignity they deserve as human beings. In Manning's case, she issued a public statement read by her lawyer that explicitly and unambiguously stated that she should be referred to as Chelsea, accompanied by appropriate female pronouns. The Associated Press and The New York Times each rightly have announced that they will refer to Chelsea as she requested, and other media outlets should do the same.
Consider these facts.
According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), 53 percent of anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women - most were transgender women of color.
While appearing on MSNBC, Jeffrey Addicott - director of the Center for Terrorism Law - warned against "coddl[ing]" Chelsea Manning in prison by providing her with hormone therapy, suggesting that Manning was faking being transgender in order to get special treatment from the government.
During the August 25 edition of MSNBC's Weekends with Alex Witt, guest host Mara Shiavocampo invited Addicott to discuss the possibility of providing Chelsea Manning - formerly known as Bradley Manning - with hormone therapy and other accommodations typically provided to transgender inmates while she serves her sentence in a military prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Addicott called the suggestion "outrageous," arguing that the Obama administration had turned the military into a "social engineering product":
ADDICOTT: I don't coddle criminals. I don't think we need to coddle criminals. Whatever you want to call yourself, that's fine. Here's your suit, here's your jail cell, have a nice day. That should be the approach of most Americans. This is outrageous, that we should coddle this individual. That we should make the military a social engineering product like this administration has tried to do and other administrations in the past. The job of the military is not to engage in this type of supercilious activity. Let's just move on, lock him up, and hopefully that will be deterrents to other people that think that they might want to do the same thing that this individual did.
Following the announcement that former Army private Bradley Manning identifies as female and wishes to be referred to as Chelsea Manning, cable news outlets continued to identify Manning as a male.
During the August 22 edition of NBC's Today, co-anchor Savannah Guthrie read a statement from Bradley Manning - who was recently convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks - announcing the former Army private's desire to live as a female and be identified as Chelsea Manning:
In the statement, Manning specifically stated a desire to be referred to using female pronouns:
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).
Despite Manning's request to be identified as a female, cable news outlets continued to incorrectly refer to her as a male.
A review of letters to Congress from dozens of state health departments and attorneys general around the country revealed that abortion in the United States is safe and well-regulated, despite recent media reports to the contrary.
Following the conviction of Kermit Gosnell for the murder of three infants during unsafe medical practices that bore no resemblance to legal abortion procedures, congressional Republicans launched an inquiry into how states monitor and regulate abortion, writing letters to the departments of health and attorneys general in all 50 states asking for details regarding criminal laws, prosecutions, inspections of abortion clinics, and regulations relating to abortion at the state level.
The pro-choice group RH Reality Check reviewed the responses from 38 of the state attorneys general and 31 of the health departments and found that they provide the "most comprehensive picture to date of the reality of abortion services," confirming that "abortion in the United States is highly regulated and overwhelmingly safe":
The responses received to date include thousands of pages of legislation and regulations on a wide range of topics that could relate to abortion. They contain definitions of "ambulatory surgical clinics," criminal statutes addressing feticide and the failure to provide medical care to newborns, and the minutiae of how state health officials must conduct inspections of clinics where abortions are performed. Some states also provided samples of the forms, such as the surveys that clinic inspectors have to fill in as they conduct their visits of abortion facilities, as well as samples of the application forms for facilities wishing to provide abortions. As an indication of how voluminous some of these responses are, Pennsylvania's response ran to 1,250 pages.
An analysis of these documents shows that congressional Republicans will find no support for their arguments in favor of new restrictions on abortion care in the evidence presented by the states. In particular, to the extent that anti-choice advocates claim that women are being put at risk by abortion services, these documents--from the very state entities charged with overseeing and regulating abortion--show the contrary. They show that abortion in the United States is highly regulated and overwhelmingly safe.
In particular, the responses revealed that abortion facilities nationwide are routinely inspected and subject to onerous regulation.
The findings of this congressional survey undermine the media's recent narrative that abortion requires even greater regulation and restriction. NBC, CNN, and Fox News hosts have all hyped the claim that an unconstitutional ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy would be "reasonable." Writers for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have falsely claimed individual bans on 20-week abortions are popularly supported, and have glossed over the realities of these bills, which could place women and their fetus' health in severe danger. With the exception of a unique segment on MSNBC, media reports on abortion restrictions have largely ignored women's health experts who confirm these unnecessary restrictions will put women's health at risk.
Furthermore, media figures at The National Review, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and elsewhere have insisted that the case of Kermit Gosnell is representative of later-term abortions in the U.S., when in fact according to these documents, the Gosnell case was the only reported instance of an illegal "born alive" procedure.
Media Matters has previously noted that despite the fact that abortion is regulated at unprecented levels, with the vast majority of U.S. counties already lacking access to abortion providers, state lawmakers have proposed hundreds of new bills to further limit women's access to safe and legal abortion services. Some of these restrictions have already been struck down, with Bloomberg reporting that state legislatures suffered "a 0-for-8 losing streak after court challenges" reaffirmed that bans on abortion after six, 12, and 20 weeks of pregnancy are unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's rulings that a woman has a right to an abortion up until fetal viability.
The evidence from the congressional inquiry confirms all of these findings: abortion is already safe and well-regulated, despite what lawmakers and the media might say.
From the August 21 edition of MSNBC's Jansing & Co.:
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From the August 19 edition of MSNBC's Politics Nation:
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MSNBC demonstrated the benefits of hosting women's health experts to talk about women's health issues and in the process punctured several abortion myths that have been used in recent months. The network hosted an all-female panel, including an obstetrician, for a segment on proposed state legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. MSNBC's panel marks a departure from other networks' coverage of abortion access, which has excluded women's health experts from the debate and promoted the view that 20-week abortion bans are "reasonable."
The August 14 edition of NOW with Alex Wagner featured a panel of three women to discuss the proposed 20 week abortion ban, which included Dr. Anne Davis of Physicians for Reproductive Health and Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Davis, a second-trimester abortion provider, disputed the premise that a fetus can experience pain at 20 weeks, arguing that fetal pain is not sufficient justification to ban abortions after this gestational stage.
Unlike past coverage of the proposed ban, the segment cited specific research from medical professionals when discussing the fetal pain theory, including findings from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
From the August 11 edition of MSNBC's Disrupt with Karen Finney:
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From the August 9 edition of MSNBC's Hardball:
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President Obama has given three high-profile speeches in July and August outlining an economic policy agenda for his remaining term in office as part of the White House's attempts to refocus the national media on pressing economic issues. An analysis of live coverage found that these speeches received unbalanced coverage across cable news outlets, with Fox News devoting by far the least amount of time.
From the August 8 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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